Arithmetic difficulties in females with the fragile X premutation

Authors

  • Ave M. Lachiewicz,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
    2. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
    • Duke University Medical Center, Box 3364, Durham, NC 27710.
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  • Deborah V. Dawson,

    1. Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry and Dows Institute for Dental Research, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
    2. Department of Biostatistics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
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  • Gail A. Spiridigliozzi,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
    2. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
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  • Allyn McConkie-Rosell

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
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Abstract

Females with the fragile X full mutation have been reported to have difficulty learning mathematics. Women with the fragile X premutation often give a history of mathematics difficulties in themselves especially with higher level math. In order to evaluate whether women with the premutation have difficulty with math, we asked women with both the fragile X premutation and full mutation to complete the Wide Range Achievement Test-3. For the group of 39 women with the fragile X premutation, the median standard score on the Arithmetic portion was 93, which was significantly lower (P = 0.001) than the median of the standardized norm of 100. Only nine of the women had Arithmetic scores at or above the 50th centile, while over half of the women had standard scores at or above the 50th centile in Reading and Spelling. The eight women with the full mutation also had lower Arithmetic scores than Reading and Spelling scores. These data suggest that mathematics may be an area of relative weakness for the women with the premutation as well as the full mutation. This possibility should be evaluated further by using other measures. This information is important both for counseling purposes and to understand whether a mathematics deficit is evidence of low expression of the FMR1 gene in the premutation state. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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